Braun Formally Apologizes, Says He Deserved 65-Game MLB Drug Ban

Ryan Braun, the former Most Valuable Player, formally apologized yesterday and acknowledged he “deserved to be suspended” by Major League Baseball for the final 65 games of this season for drug violations.

The Milwaukee Brewers outfielder said in a statement released by the team that he “turned to products for a short period of time that I shouldn’t have used” to help recover from an injury.

“The products were a cream and a lozenge, which I was told could help expedite my rehabilitation,” he said. “It was a huge mistake for which I am deeply ashamed and I compounded the situation by not admitting my mistakes immediately.”

Braun, 29, a five-time All-Star and the National League’s MVP in 2011, specifically apologized for failing to share information with MLB officials during his arbitration hearing for a previous drug suspension that was overturned on appeal.

He also said he regrets some of his comments at a news conference after the arbitrator’s decision in February 2012.

“For a long time, I was in denial and convinced myself that I had not done anything wrong,” he said in the statement. “A combination of feeling self righteous and having a lot of unjustified anger led me to react the way I did.”

Braun repeatedly denied using drugs after failing a test during the 2011 postseason. His 50-game suspension for elevated testosterone levels was overturned after he argued his urine sample had been mishandled by test collector Dino Laurenzi, Jr., whom he apologized to in yesterday’s statement.

Braun’s statement made no reference to the Biogenesis of America LLC clinic in Coral Gables, Florida.

Rodriguez Appeal

MLB suspended 13 players this month for their involvement with Biogenesis, which baseball has sued for allegedly helping players obtain performance-enhancing drugs. Twelve of those players accepted 50-game bans, while New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez is playing while appealing a 211-game ban -- the longest doping suspension in MLB history.

The CBS television program “60 Minutes” reported last week that representatives of Rodriguez leaked Biogenesis documents that implicated Braun. Rodriguez said the report was “not true at all.”

Braun, who had acknowledged making mistakes when he accepted his season-ending suspension on July 22, said in yesterday’s statement that he was “beyond embarrassed” for publicly denying he had used banned substances.

“I said what I thought I needed to say to defend my clouded vision of reality,” he said in the statement. “I am just starting the process of trying to understand why I responded the way I did, which I continue to regret.”

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